The Biophysics Facility supports researchers in the use of sophisticated instrumentation to measure the interactions, reactions, stability and size of biological molecules with accuracy and precision.
Cells made of quartz glass are used to hold biological samples for absorbance, circular dichroism and fluorescence measurements.
A growing range of techniques has been developed to characterise the physical properties of biological macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. These biophysical techniques enable us to investigate how those molecules gain and retain structure, perform reactions, and interact when they assemble into larger structures, in order to play their essential roles in living cells.
Choosing the best methods to answer your question
We identify the best combination of methods to answer each question. The facility has instruments for micro-calorimetry, circular-dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy, surface plasmon resonance, analytical ultracentrifugation and light-scattering measurements. A few examples of typical applications are:
- Measuring the energies of macromolecular interactions
- Determining the size and shape of complexes
- Assessing the impact of mutations on protein structure and stability
- Screening small molecules libraries to identify chemical probes that bind to a specific macromolecular target
We support researchers who wish to use these techniques, from the first stages of experimental design to the final stages of data interpretation and presentation. Depending on individual requirements, we can perform experiments for users or train them to operate instruments and to collect high-quality data. We are also responsible for maintaining and improving the instruments to meet the future needs of the Biozentrum.